Signs that your man is smitten

There was once a bloke in my life who gave indifference a new meaning. He was as sullen as he was docile and just as smart; never laying his cards on the table.

In the early days of romance you often wonder how serious your man is about you? But even people who live together or have been married for a long time are not exempt from such doubts. Just because he's told you at some point that he loves you or cares for you is no guarantee that his feelings won't change. We need constant reassurance that the loving feeling is still there.

But even marriage cannot be taken as a done deal these days.

"What makes matters worse is that there seems to be a new law of mind games in relationships. People, especially men, won't open up," says Angelica April, a music compiler.

Relationships counsellor Mike Gumbi says: "Relationships have become harder because guys choose to protect themselves by not getting 'too involved' by sharing their sentiments with their girls.

"I know it's hard for women to understand, but this whole women empowerment deal has left men in an awkward position. How do you open up to someone who pays the bills, buys you gifts of convenience and has the final say in everything that goes down in the relationship?" he asks.

"These days, when a woman falls pregnant it is entirely up to her what to do with the pregnancy, no matter what kind of a relationship they might be involved in. This woman-on-top culture is extremely emasculating for an average man."

But some women are also in this position yet easily open up so what is men's problem? Gumbi says women take the love situation in their stride because that's how Mother Nature designed them. So we were not created equal?

"God gave a woman a personality to manipulate power and she does this using her feminine power; her beauty, their relationship and sometimes sexuality to make a man feel like he's the king of his castle. But when she earns more than him and makes all the renovation suggestions and goes on to foot the bill for those milestones, the guy is left with nothing but his pride to hold on to. He will lock in all his affection or actions of affection to make sure she goes the extra mile to melt him."

That, by anyone's standard, is manipulation of the darkest kind.

"The Bible says: "And Adam said, this is now the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

"Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh," argues April.

The question is, how can a married man reserve his affection towards his own bone of his bones?

"They think being in love and communicating such feelings is a sign of weakness," says Gumbi.

"I have also found that aggression towards this silent type of love makes the situation quite unbearable for men. Just let them be," says Gumbi.

The 10 signs that he's falling for you.

1. His actions show he's interested. He holds your hand or takes your arm when you're stepping off a curb. He likes to hug you. He admits he's available.

2. He enjoys surprising and pleasing you with flowers, a card or just a silly present.

3. He doesn't make excuses. He doesn't wait a week to call, and when he says he'll call, he does.

4. He's thoughtful. He opens doors and lets you enter first. He cooks dinner sometimes.

5. He communicates. He looks you in the eye, listens and hears what you say. He's open, honest and willing to share his personal thoughts.

6. He wants you to meet his family and friends, and then includes you in activities and holidays with them.

7. He's observant. He compliments you on your new dress or hairstyle.

8. He respects and appreciates you. He doesn't judge, isn't critical and accepts you as you are.

9. He offers to help. He's Mr Fix-It, but not Mr Pain-in-the-Rear-Fix-Everything.

10. Occasionally, he'll skip Monday night with the guys to be with you.

11. The ultimate sign: He lends you the keys to his new car.

If he's doing some of the above, he cares. If he's doing all of them, he's hooked! - Additional info: